Allan Gill was born in Kimberly British Columbia, Canada, in 1938. He is a semi-retired veterinarian specializing mainly in the treatment of companion animals.
Allan has long admired the beauty and simplicity of the conventional black and white Xray images that have been an important part of his work as a veterinarian. In fact he has always regarded a well-taken Xray in a clinical setting as having the qualities of fine art photography. With semi-retirement, Allan found time to explore the art of Xray floral photography (or more correctly, radiography, as the image is captured, not by reflected light, but by Xray beams), as he feels that botanicals are fascinating subjects for Xradiography – their delicate structures are revealed with overlapping lines and shapes in a kind of rhythm that is so pleasing to the eye.
One of the earliest Xray artists was Dr. Dain Tasker (1872-1964), a radiologist who produced beautiful floral images in the 1930’s that are now avidly collected. Dr. Tasker was said to have stated that “flowers are the love life of plants”.
Images that are seen here start as conventional black and white Xray images that are then refined to enhance and isolate the delicate structures found in flowers and plants. This process is time consuming and demands considerable skill.
The nearly transparent, delicate features of the petals can be lost when trying to expose the hidden contents of the more dense structures , such as stems and buds.
The resulting images, with overlapping lines and shapes, have a translucent, somewhat ethereal glow, showing leaves, veins, and internal structures of plants and flowers that conventional photography is unable to achieve.
For Allan, the fascination of Xradiography is that images are captured in much the same way as with conventional photography, with the difference that instead of utilizing reflected light, the image is captured by another part of the electromagnetic spectrum, so that internal structures are seen as well. The camera is an Xray machine and instead of film ISO kilovolts are used, and instead of exposure adjustments milliamps are used.
This new look of fine art “photography”, practiced by only a few artists world-wide, makes this work unique and beautiful.
Allan’s work is a collaboration between his radiologist friend who has kindly supplied him with raw images, and Lynda Miller, an expert in digital imagery, who has been invaluable in realizing his vision.